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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 February 2010

Leeds university: Support lecturers striking to save jobs

Lecturers at Leeds University will be taking strike action this week to defend jobs and services against the proposed £35 million cuts that will lead to an estimated 700 job losses. The situation with biological sciences is particularly severe, due to a funding shortfall caused by the withdrawal of NHS support, with potentially 60 jobs under threat.

Sean Clothier

The lecturers' union, UCU, see this as a litmus test for what is to come as every department is told to balance its books. The proposed cuts at Leeds are by no means an aberration, with other UCU branches and students from universities like Sussex and Westminster having to take action against cutbacks in funding.

Leeds University is not in a bad financial situation. The university made surpluses of £11 million and £18 million in the last two years but insists that this money cannot be used to plug the gap in some departments. The university has a £60 million-plus capital programme, and it pays seven of its senior managers more than the prime minister. "The cupboard" is not "bare".

The recession has presented the management with an excuse to cut back and increase the profitability of Leeds university. The only way we can stop this is to build a mass campaign of education workers and students.

The Leeds University Union which up to now has condemned the strikes needs to be transformed into an organisation that fights for students and defends education.

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In The Socialist 24 February 2010:

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Private 'vultures' to run NHS hospital

How to stop cuts and defend public services

Demo opposes £29m Notts county cuts


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Related links:

University:

triangleFat cat vice chancellors schooled by Brum students

triangleUniversity workers' walkout for decent pensions

triangleLecturers vote for strikes against pension cuts

Leeds:

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: 100 years since women won the right to vote

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: Organising tenants in the private rented sector

triangleLeeds Socialist Party: How long can May cling on for?

triangleAmy Murphy Usdaw campaign meeting

Lecturers:

triangleSouthampton: Pay rise for uni boss, job losses for lecturers

triangleBrighton Uni lecturers strike against job cuts

triangleManchester lecturers walk out

Jobs:

triangleSupermarket's slash jobs - union fightback needed

triangleMerseyrail protest

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